Why Maternal Mental Health Matters


The videos below help to illustrate the importance on the healthy development of infants and toddlers through treating maternal mental health.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reports;

nationally, 1 in 5 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression.

The National Institute for Children’s Health Quality quotes childbirth educator Sheila Kitzinger;

There is a fourth trimester to pregnancy and we neglect it at our peril. It is a transitional period of 3 months after birth when many women are highly vulnerable, experience confusion and despair and during which anxiety is normal and reactive depression commonplace.

The 4th Trimester refers to the first 3 months of an infant’s life and is used to describe this period of tremendous growth and development as the infant begins to adjust to the world outside of the womb.

The World Health Organization describes the postnatal period (6 weeks post childbirth);

“as the most critical and yet the most neglected phase in the lives of mothers and babies.

Postpartum Stress Center’s founder Katherine Kleiman, MSW, LCSW states; 

those who develop postpartum depression are at greater risk of developing major depression later in life“.

Babies and children need emotionally healthy mothers. A mother’s ability to attach and respond psychologically and emotionally with her baby provides the psychological foundation that an infant needs for healthy development. Maternal depression affects infant and childhood development by inhibiting a mother’s ability to respond to her baby’s cues.

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Header Artwork is "Thistle's Dance" by Bhavna Misra; used with permission.